With the help of Charlie’s Challenge we have been able to spend a relatively large amount of money on private physiotherapy.
Although we have nothing but good things to say about our NHS physio- we simply are unable to see her regularly enough to have the effect and consolidation that we would like. Also, as we have seen her from Charlie being so young that we see her as a friend- unfortunately so does Charlie and he treats her as such, messing about though-out the sessions and he knows exactly how to have her wrapped around his mischievous little finger.
With providing therapy and stretching Charlie for the majority of his life he normally gets very fed up and very bored very quickly. We have tried all sorts to try make what we do fun and interesting but quite simply we had run out of ideas. Not only would Charlie associate stretches and exercise with me he would often become quite upset- that isn’t easy as a dad; trapped between keeping Charlie happy and keeping Charlie’s muscles stretched and supple. A fresh face and new ideas were required…
We decided to recruit Dan from PT Kids- a private physio with lots of experience in CP kids. We did our ‘due diligence’ and I emailed and spoke to Dan a number of times before booking him. He was recommended by a number of NHS staff- to the extent he has been working as a locum in the same service that provides for Charlie!
Dan recommended a block of 6 weekly appointments- as much to show us some new ‘tricks’ and techniques but also to allow for us to do them with Charlie and consolidate the gains before introducing new things. At £60 a time it is a considerable outlay.
On arrival Dan took an extensive history to help him understand Charlie’s position and difficulties and spent time assessing Charlie’s current physical ability. As Dan was a new face, despite being quite tired Charlie appeared quite interested in what he had to say and even followed some of his instructions.
Dan has been a number of times now and we have seen small but noticeable changes. He has suggested areas to work on and has shown Charlie new games to play while exercising- like stepping on different colour ‘stepping stones’- great for organisation (doing different things with different body parts at the same time) and disociation (Charlie doesn’t always understand that he has 2 feet, 2 kneesor 2 legs in general- his brain needs to learn the difference between each, to disociate them.). He has concentrated on standing balance, getting Charlie to stand as straight and using tiny ‘prods’ around his core to keep him stood for as long as possible without support- both with his feet together and in a step stance.
Dan was very much in danger of been ‘group-hugged’ last week as Charlie stood unaided, on his own, for about 15 seconds! Both Lou and myself were extatic!
We understand that Charlie’s form of CP, spastic diplegia, is very reactive to therapy (to varing extents) and the different and regular therapy that Charlie’s Challenge has enabled us to put in place for Charlie will dramatically enhance his potential. THANK YOU!
I will outline some of Dan’s ‘tricks’ in a later post.